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Lynn King

A standout athlete at Villisca High School and Drake University in the 1920s, Lynn “Dig” King went on to play three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals from 1935 to 1939.

After setting Texas League records for total chances (527) and put-outs (501) as a centerfielder in 1935, King made his Major League debut as a pinch-runner on September 21 in the Cardinals’ 9-7 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Sportsmen’s Park.

In eight games that season the 27-year-old King collected six runs, four walks and four singles in 22 at-bats. Asked at the end of the season whether there was a place for a 5-foot-9-inch, 165-pound outfielder on next season’s roster, manager Frankie Frisch told The Sporting News, “He looks like a handy man to have around. He certainly has proved his ability as a fly chaser and has displayed a fine hustling spirit. Can he hit? Well, that remains to be seen. But I’d say he deserves the chance.”

King played 78 games and all three outfield positions for the Cardinals in 1936. He posted a .190 batting average along with 12 runs, two doubles, a triple, and ten RBIs.

King hit over .300 in 1937 and 1938 while playing with Columbus in the American Association. He returned to the Cardinals in 1939, appearing in 89 games while coming off of the bench behind established stars Joe Medwick, Terry Moore, and Enos Slaughter. King hit .235 that season.

After playing for Sacramento, Seattle, and Kansas City in the minor leagues, King finished his career at Sioux Falls in the Northern League in 1948 at the age of 38.

Born on November 28, 1907, in Villisca, Iowa, King passed away on May 11, 1972, in Atlantic at the age of 64. He was named to the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1951.

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